During the holiday break, eleven Wake Forest University students will share the holiday spirit by spending 10 days volunteering in Honduras helping victims of Hurricane Mitch.
As part of the Honduras Outreach Project and Exchange (H.O.P.E.) Scholars Program, the students and one faculty leader will depart for Honduras from Raleigh-Durham International Airport on Friday morning, Jan. 1. They will travel to the Agalta Valley, a remote mountainous region with an average annual family income of $400. Working beside the villagers, the students will help the Hondurans rebuild homes destroyed by the hurricane.
The students will return on Monday, Jan. 11, in time to begin spring semester classes.
This is the second year a Wake Forest group will go to Honduras during the holiday break. Zach Miller, a senior from Clemmons and the student leader of this year’s group, also went to Honduras last year. During that trip, students worked with villagers to dig latrines, build additions to houses, repair roads and assist with other projects.
To prepare for the trip, the group has met weekly since August. Various faculty members have led sessions on different aspects of Honduran life and culture, conversational Spanish and other relevant topics.
The purpose of the trip is to “further the spirit of volunteerism in Wake Forest students,” according to Paige Wilbanks, Wake Forest’s coordinator of volunteer services. “Through this experience, students will return to the United States with a greater understanding of poverty and Third World culture.”
Dr. James Wofford, a professor of internal medicine and gerontology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, will also accompany this year’s group.
The project is funded by money given to Wake Forest to support ethics and leadership by the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, the same fund used to support Wake Forest’s international service trips to Calcutta. The service trip is coordinated with Honduras Outreach, Inc.
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